Dr. Alan Geyer will be the executive director of a new center here that will deal with the theological implications of political issues.
The new center will be housed at Wesley Seminary on the American University campus and is tentatively called the Churches' Center for Theology and Public Policy.
United Metrodist Bishop James K. Mathews, president of the center's board of directors, said planning for the new institution began in 1973 and that it was chartered late last year.
In a news conference at United Methodist Capitol Hill offices yesterday, Bishop Mathews stressed that the new center was "not a lobbying effort."
Rather, he explained, the institution is expected to conduct "basic research, so that we can have a well informed constituency in the churches who can express themselves as Christian citizens in an intelligent way."
The center is ecumenical in both scope and sponsorship. The Rev. Edwin Glynn, who directs the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, has been serving as acting director and will continue in the post until Geyer takes over on June 1.
Geyer, former editor of the Christian Century, is presently the Dag Hammarskjold professor of peace studies at Colgate University. He is an ordained United Methodist clergyman as well as a specialist in political science.
Geyer said initial plans call for research on such topics as urban policy, health care and delivery systems, disarmament and world economic policy.
The list of more than 100 sponsors for the center includes several members of Congress and other government figures as well as leaders of several communions and denominations.